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The Virgin Blue Paperback – 4 Dec 2006
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‘Tracy Chevalier’s first novel is a triumph. Excellent’ Time Out
‘An intriguing and poignant read’ Sunday Express
‘Such an achievement for a serious writer that you feel it deserves an award’ Independent
‘A beautifully crafted story shot with vivid colours’ The Times
This book is from the bestselling author of "Girl With a Pearl Earring", a reissue of her first novel, which was first published in 1996. This is the compelling story of two women, born four centuries apart, and the ancestral legacy that binds them. Ella Turner does her best to fit in to the small, close-knit community of Lisle-sur-Tarn. She even changes her name back to Tournier, and knocks the rust off her high school French. But it is all in vain. Isolated and lonely, she is drawn to investigate her Tournier ancestry, which leads to her encounter with the town's wolfish librarian. Isabelle du Moulin, known as Le Rousse due to her fiery red hair, is tormented and shunned in the village - suspected of witchcraft and reviled for her association with the Virgin Mary. Falling pregnant, she is forced to marry into the ruling family: the Tourniers. Tormentor becomes husband, and a shocking fate awaits her. Plagued by the colour blue, Ella is haunted by parallels with the past, and by her recurring dream. Then one morning she wakes up to discover that her hair is turning inexplicably red!See all Product description
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Isabelle, from 16th century France, is brought together with Ella who has moved to France from 21st century California.
For a first novel, this is very well accomplished. Having found her style in this book, I can see that the author has gone on to write many successful novels. She clearly researched her subjects well and has the ability to use her research to tell a good story rather than allowing the book to be overtaken by information - a mistake that many novelists make.
There is a big interest in the geography of the area as Ella searches for her ancestors. I thought that the book would have been enhanced with a map and I found having a map of the area on my laptop helped me plot the travels and add to the enjoyment.
A book which is well worth reading for a fan or anyone who likes a good historical novel.
Ella a likeable character and easy to understand being in a strange country making alot of adjustments and feeling isolated. I couldn't help but feel for her and feel irritated at Rick's insular attitude towards his wife. No wonder she had a fling.
Sadly one of these protagonists doesn't have quite the happy ending you'd wish for. Won't tell which one.
Very good book, easy read. Would recommend.
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